I really enjoyed this book. The tension, suspense and overall writing style were excellent. There isn’t much I can say that I wasn’t really into while reading this. Unfortunately, this story had one of my biggest triggers so I had to bow out almost a third in.
Let’s start off with the few things that did bother me. Kate is so desperate to be a field agent, yet she can’t follow someone without getting spotted and when attacked by two teens she’s virtually helpless and needs to be saved. It’s frustrating to read books about independent women with something to prove trying to do it without the skills to do so, so they end up needing the man to come in and rescue them. It’s hard to get on board with her desperately trying to move up in the industry when she has no training.
Okay, that’s not entirely accurate. Since the opportunity to move up is clearly present now when before it wasn’t I expected that she had the training to be a field agent already and just wasn’t given the chance so to find out she couldn’t do it after all killed the support vibe a bit. Almost like her superiors were justified in not giving her a chance. What helps this story is that, thankfully, it only happened the one time in the 69 percent I read thus it didn’t become a theme that she lacked training and the author very cleverly played up to her actual skillset. So it was a non-issue as far as rating is concerned.
Her inability as a lawyer to recognise the hidden meaning in Etienne telling her his ‘acquired’ items were aboveboard was also odd. This inability to use her particularly good skillset to read between the lines was strange. Her hard line on right and wrong, especially being trained in law didn’t make sense but, again, only popped up here and there so also wasn’t enough of an annoyance to affect the rating. Even with it coupled with believing what the media says about someone because controversy sells. It can be true but in the presence of another opinion, she doesn’t even question its validity.
Lastly, the sensual scenes are fun fun fun. The problem with them is you get all this steamy set up and then one paragraph of the actual event. It’s way too fast considering all the build-up. Honestly, it would’ve been better if the main event was glossed over and happened off-page so readers can stay on the high from the well-written foreplay. It almost reads like a quicky so after all that steam they finally get to it and… one paragraph and done. The minuteman written word equivalent to the real-life version. This almost made it lose a star but these scenes were def too fun so I let it pass. Not odd for me cause if they are well written enough, I’ll mention it in the review but generally speaking it would have to be significantly annoying to affect the rating.
The point where I had to stop though was when Etienne says he knows what to do to keep her safe and, plot spoiler, leaves a note that literally says thank you and goodbye. Now if he said why I would’ve been annoyed but at least he would’ve owned up to the choice albeit wrong. But he didn’t and, unfortunately, I’m at my romance limit for ‘the only way to keep you safe is to leave without explaining myself’ plotline. Why can’t they try despite the odds? Why does the woman, Kate, have to think she was being played when she wasn’t? Why can’t readers have characters who just come out with their fears and trudge on? Even if that exact fear happens. That’s life. Things don’t always work out.
It’s just this along with the ‘random/overdramatised miscommunication’ romance plotline, or the ‘I thought you were cheating when all the clues point to no’ plotline, and the list is endless as far as romance is concerned and the unrealistic tropes used to drum up tension that requires too much suspension of belief for me to get on board with. The emotional journey both of the characters would go through all because he couldn’t simply say he was afraid she might get killed is the type of intentional yet avoidable tension that Romance is made of and I just can’t anymore.
That being said. This book gets lots of bonus points for the fun, flirty, yet annoyed tension both physical and only in the minds of the characters. Even more bonus points for not dragging the relationship until the end of the book and then having one of those rushed endings that fit into one of the above tropes I mentioned and don’t like. Honestly, as far as romance suspense capers go, this one hit all the notes. Under normal circumstances a quit gets three stars or less, however, in this instance even the things that bug me about Kate’s character are handled in a way that didn’t drive me crazy so other than this trigger being way in the top of the list, there aren’t any real faults here. Based on that I can guestimate, beyond the situations this letter may cause like Kate getting captured, or some big argument, or her calling the mole in the agency to vent, there are a few possibilities and there are better ways to set these traps without breaking up the duo, still, other than all these options I can guestimate with almost certainty the author’s writing style will stay consistent from here on out through the book. With this in mind it still gets the 5stars I planned on giving it.
I haven’t read the first two, and am not sure if there will be more but this is a well written, exciting, suspenseful romance that I’m sure fans of the genre will more than love and it will definitely be an interesting series.
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